My 2014 and 2015 goals

Welcome to 2015!
Each year I like to reflect back on the previous year & some of my plans for the year ahead. This blog post is primarily for my own benefit to reflect back on later but maybe it’s of interest to you.

For me 2014 saw a number of changes. No doubt the biggest change for me this year was the birth of my daughter. It was a great but unexpected surprise. Her birth led to a somewhat different year to what we had originally planned & the cancellation of a booked & paid for trip to Thailand & planned honeymoon to Hawaii 😦

Still I wouldnt change anything & here is a pic of me looking pretty tired with her shortly after her birth:


I honestly don’t know what I did with all my spare time prior to her birth & the last few months have certainly been an adjustment period for myself & my wife!

I have found I have to be a lot more selective with what I spend my time on & I have started fitting in things like watching tech videos/Pluralsight content on my morning train commute & squeezing gym sessions into lunch & before work so I can get back home asap.

After just over 5 years here I became an Australian citizen (whilst retaining my British citizenship). Moving countries is never easy for anyone & for me personally my move had a difficult start so was a big achievement for me that I am very proud of. Australia has its issues like anywhere (one of the biggest is our good friend Tony Abbott!) but overall it’s a great place to live and I am happy to be part of it.


Pluralsight & Speaking
I had had a few people approach me about writing a book on various subjects but wasn’t interested right now. Writing is a very time consuming exercise with a lot of time spent editing rather than learning about what you are writing about & the short life time of any technical books for me make this a sum that doesn’t add up.

I do enjoy putting together training content so this year I put together a course for Pluralight on the WebGL framework three.js you should watch it!

Putting together the online course was a much more enjoyable experience than writing & I really enjoyed working with the Pluralsight guys. I picked up some basic video & audio editing skills as well. I really like Pluralsight as a company & they have a great culture & payment model. I’d highly recommend working with Pluralsight.

This year I had a reduced number of speaking engagmenents (quite deliberatly) but enjoyed talking at Web directions code & Melb.js. I also attended and ran a workshop at Campjs. I really liked the format of camp.js & would highly recommend the event although running a workshop is a very different proposition to a talk and I would do this quite differently next time.

The last few years I have spent predominantly focussed on JavaScript & HTML5 & friends but I think this year I will be concentrating on some of the exciting changes in Visual Studio 2015 and vNext.

DDD Melbourne
In 2014 we ran DDD Melbourne for the fifth year with over 300 delegates. We had some great talks & workshops and some great key & lock note presentations from well-known speakers Troy Hunt & Iris Classon.

I hadn’t enjoyed running DDD 4 & it had taken up a large amount of my time leaving me a bit burnt out at the end of it. DDD5 ran much smoother & we have some great plans for DDD 6.

One of the big changes we are making is splitting out the running of the event into mini teams, opening the process and site & documenting our process so others can continue it in the future if any of the core team leave.

Towards the end of the year I felt in need of a change at work. I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing & felt it wasnt the right direction for me. I had been doing consulting based work for some time & felt now was time for a change.

Luckily for me cloud based accounting company Xero were looking for developers so in October I took a position with them which I am very much enjoying (we are looking for more devs if you are interested). Xero has a great almost startup like feel to it and its great to be working on some exciting new challenges that come with a shift to a product based company.

One of the important aspects of my life is fitness. One of my new year’s resolutions is actually to do less but more focussed training. I love training but you can get a bit carried away with it which can leave you feeling tired, worn out and also slow any gains. I realised I was doing too much so this year plan to focus on more on fewer but better quality sessions.

2015 goals
I plan the following in 2015:

  • Less but more focussed exercise training sessions. In the next 6 months I’d like to up my Squat (butt to ground squats!) weight to 120kg (+25) deadlift to 130kg (+15) and bench 90kg (+15).
  • Focus on learning the new changes in Visual Studio 2015 & vNext & refreshing my .net knowledge
  • More blog posts – I often come across things I want to share but never get round to it. I think the secret is probably to try to do short posts rather than massive ones (like this!)
  • More talks – I’ll be submitting something for teched this year I think
  • Attend CodeMania in April & Yow conferences in Melbourne – everyone tells me both of these are great conferences but yet to attend one

I wish you all a great 2015!